Ground transportation businesses will not want to overlook the importance of fleet management software as they aim to expand their operations in the coming years.
A variety of signals have indicated that the U.S. economy is getting back on track after several years of slow growth. A recent report fromReuters said the Federal Reserve measured moderate expansions in business activity from late November through the end of 2013 in several regions of the country.
"The economic outlook is positive in most districts, with some reports citing expectations for 'more of the same' and some expecting a pick-up in growth," the organization's report stated.
Maintenance issues still pose challenges
As the owners of small and medium-sized shipping operations prepare to take advantage of this positive news, there are still a variety of other factors to consider when planning for growth. For example, no matter how the economy is performing, traveling long distances on highways can lead to a substantial level of wear and tear on heavy-duty vehicles. When fleets break down from mechanical issues, firms will have a much harder time making scheduled deliveries on time. This may ultimately threaten long-term profitability.
According to Jim Park from the online publication Truckinginfo, properly maintaining tires is one of the most overlooked equipment-related issues affecting vehicle fleets of all sizes. Historically, roadside inspections from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have revealed a large percentage of trucks failing to sustain recommended tire pressure levels. The website said it is especially important to keep identical pressure levels on the dual-tire system in most heavy-duty trucks. Disregarding this issue can cause unnecessary premature damage.
"When two tires are bolted together in a dual assembly, both must have the same circumference or diameter in order to cover the same distance as the assembly rolls along the pavement," Park wrote.
As a result, differing diameters will cause one tire to burn more tread than the other, which significantly reduces its longevity.
Tire prices are on the rise
Fleet owners often have an especially vested interest in keeping this kind of equipment in good shape. In fact, tire costs continue to rise in the U.S. WPTV, an NBC affiliate based in West Palm Beach, Fla., reported that oil, rubber and styrene commodities, which are all used in the manufacturing process, have become more expensive in recent years. As a result, businesses can end up spending a large portion of their overhead costs on items that can be easily preserved with the proper maintenance procedures.
Without the right technology in the workplace, managers often struggle to find the time to make sure their vehicles receive the proper amount of attention. Introducing a simple solution such as equipment maintenance software will allow businesses to get everything done during the day with minimal impact on other operations. By automating the project scheduling process, companies will save time and make better use employee time. These conveniences will eventually allow businesses to move forward in a burgeoning economy.